QUETTA: The Balochistan government has asked the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to postpone the local government elections in the province till July 15.

The ECP last week announced holding the LG elections in the province, except in Quetta and Lasbela districts, on May 29. It announced schedule for the filing of nomination papers and dates for withdrawal of nomination papers and the polling.

The Balochistan Assembly adopted a resolution in its session the other day, calling upon the ECP to postpone the LG elections till July 15.

Provincial Minister for Agriculture Mir Asadullah Baloch moved the resolution in the house which was supported by both treasury and opposition members. The resolution was passed without any opposition.

Official sources said that the secretary of local government Balochistan, Imran Gichki, has written a letter to the ECP commissioner and the provincial election commissioner and formally informed them the desire of the Balochistan government regarding the postponement of LG elections on the schedule announced by the ECP.

The secretary of local government said in his letter that the provincial cabinet in its meeting held on April 2 discussed the issue of LG elections and decided with the consultation of Minister Local Government and Rural Development Sardar Mohammad Saleh Bhootani and other authorities concerned to request the ECP to hold the LG elections in the province after July 15 due to “unavoidable reasons”.

The reasons were not explained for which the government wanted to postpone the LG elections till July 15.

Official sources said that the Balochistan government wanted to hold LG elections in one phase.

Balochistan was the first province of the country which had held the LG elections in the province in 2014 and after completing the four-year term the LG government’s institutions were dissolved in 2018. Since then the LG government institutions were being run by administrators appointed by the government.

Published in Dawn, April 10th, 2022

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